By its very title, Souvenir de Florence, the string sextet in D major op. 70, composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1890 (although the final composition, replete with revisions and second thoughts, dates to 1892, the year of its premier in St. Petersburg) expresses a kind of ‘Italian-ness’ that is already revealed by the harmonic weave of the initial thematic context of the first movement, the l’Allegro con spirito. The incisive and impassioned motivic idea starts from the centre point of the dominant of D minor (with the auxiliary of a significant minor ninth chord) and arrives, after a symmetrical statement, to the opposite alternative of the lowered supertonic, by virtue of a ‘Neapolitan sixth’, insistently reiterated in the succeeding episode, though with abundant modulating transitions. The iteration of the first theme and a different transitional phase lead to the formulation of a second theme, expressed, however, in the region of the dominant major and likewise constructed on a primary ninth chord: however, to the marked initial vigour, full of folkloric references, is juxtaposed a full-throated lyricism that is vaguely reminiscent of opera, where the fusion of the two elements is carried out with an intermediate rhythmic design, borrowed from the previous transition.
Total time: 01:05:27
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Luca Giannerini, Daniele Zazza
Parco della Musica, Rome, Italy
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|Release Date||April 7, 2016|
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